BREAKING: Jeremy Corbyn makes speech to huge crowds on Sheffield Uni concourse

Hundreds chant ‘oh Jeremy Corbyn’


Jeremy Corbyn was welcomed by huge crowds at Sheffield University this evening.

The Labour leader was cheered by hundreds of students and activists when he arrived unannounced at the SU concourse at around 6.30pm.

He made a speech hailing the "wonderful city" of Sheffield and vowed to "change society", before being whisked away by security and the media.

Tonight's BBC Question Time leaders' special is being broadcast live from the Octagon on campus, three weeks before the 12 December general election.

Corbyn joins prime minister Boris Johnson, Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon for the debate, on BBC One from 7pm.

Image may contain: People, Indoors, Interior Design, Person, Audience, Crowd, Human

Corbyn stood on a grass mound to speak to the huge crowd

The crowd, which also featured Extinction Rebellion activists, had been waiting to see Corbyn arrive for more than two hours as rumours swirled that he was going to do a speech.

They broke out into chants of "oh Jeremy Corbyn", "for the many not the few" and "Swinson's a Tory", referencing Jo Swinson, and unfurled Labour banners. At one point they shouted, "when I say Tory you say liar".

In his speech to the Sheffield crowd, Mr Corbyn said: "Can I just say this? Thank you Sheffield for being here tonight. Thank you for the wonderful city you are.

"Thank you for your support for what we’re doing to build a decent, fair society in Britain that cares for all, not just the few. Thank you for your support tonight but above all it is what we do over the next three weeks to convince people that what we are putting forward is a radical manifesto, it is different and it will change society.

"But I want to do that because I am fed up with the poverty, the homelessness, the food banks. I want to do that to elect a government that will address the climate crisis that we’re facing, that will bring about a green industrial revolution and that will make sure that our trade with Europe is secure in the future: in or out.

"If Boris Johnson wants to go to New York or Washington with Donald Trump, I will simply say this: our NHS is not for sale."

Corbyn unveiled his party's manifesto on Thursday, the most radically left-wing in decades, dividing economic analysts who questioned whether his spending spree adds up.

Students gathered in Bar One to watch the debate on giant screens, just metres away from where it was being filmed.

Hosted by Fiona Bruce, tonight's debate will see each leader will have 30 minutes to be grilled by a live studio audience, some of whom are students.

There has been a mass security operation in force all day around the SU and Octagon, with road closures and a heavy police presence. The nation's media have tonight descended on the area.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Sheffield Uni professor's talk asking if two Nazi figures were ‘heroes’ cancelled

‘I’m scared to reach out now’: What happens when your uni suspends you for your mental health

Tuition fees ‘aren’t a priority’ for students, says Lib Dem MP candidate for Sheffield